Natural Remedies for Bladder Stones in Dogs

Sep 26, 2017

It's frightening to see blood in your pet's urine.  He may try to urinate frequently, but is only able to pass a small amount, although he or she is trying very hard, for longer than usual.  You know your best friend has a problem.

It's possible for a dog or cat to have bladder stones (urinary calculi) without any symptoms at all.  The stones might be discovered during a routine vet visit or spotted on x-rays.

What are Bladder Stones?

The stones can actually form at any point in the urinary tract, although most stones are found in the bladder.  In dogs and cats, they may be found in the bladder, kidneys, ureters (urine is carried from the kidneys to the bladder in these tiny tubes) or urethra (the tube that goes from the bladder to outside the dog or cat).

The stones are formed of microscopic crystals which unite over time, eventually forming stones as large as 3"-4" in diameter.  Different breeds tend to form different types of stones.  Struvite stones are composed of magnesium ammonium phosphate; other types are composed of calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or other chemical compounds.

What Causes Animals to Develop Bladder Stones?

There are a number of possible factors, including genetic predisposition, urine pH, bacterial infections and the concentration of the stone constituents in the urine.

Struvite Stones

Struvite stones tend to develop when the urine pH is alkaline, with a pH higher than 7.0.  Bacterial infections, or cystitis, play a major role in forming struvite stones as bacteria generally make the urine more alkaline.  Since struvite crystals indicate a bacterial infection, the infection must be treated.  Vets normally use an antibiotic.

Natural Treatments for the Bladder Infections Associated with Struvite Stones in Dogs and Cats

The most popular remedy used by Earth Clinic readers for treating a pet's bladder infection is organic apple cider vinegar.  People have told us about many different ways to treat a pet with apple cider vinegar.  They have used the apple cider vinegar either mixed with food or diluted with water, cranberry, iodine, vitamin C or sea salt.

Please check the Bladder Infection Remedies section to read about other natural remedies.

Other Types of Bladder Stones

Calcium Oxalate Stones and other types normally form in acidic urine.

Diet, Water and pH

Urine pH is strongly influenced by the pet's diet.  A dog's normal urine pH is 5.5 to 7.0.

  • Struvite stones and the bacterial infection make the pet's urine pHmore alkaline (above 7.0).
  • Other types of stones make the pet's urine pH more acid (below 7.0)
  • A food containing glucosamine may be helpful.  Glucosamine helps to form a mucus lining inside the urinary bladder; this creates a barrier and helps to protect the bladder from the irritation caused by the crystals.
  • Make sure that pets drinks plenty of fresh water.

Scroll down to read posts from Earth Clinic readers about natural treatments for bladder stones in dogs and cats.  Please contact us to let us know how you treated your own pets.

Additional Pages of Interest:

Bladder Infection Remedies for Dogs

Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

Apple Cider Vinegar for Dogs

Apple Cider Vinegar for Cats



Apple Cider Vinegar  

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Posted by Clint (Co) on 02/27/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Amazing. I have a 4 month old Rottweiler and she was peeing almost straight blood clots and all u read this forum started her on this Apple Cider Vinegar immediately and not even24 hours later no blood in urine didn't realize the benefits if something sooo simple...I have a 4 y.o. Rottweiler and as all of us know the other water dish is better than there's so I used it in both so many uses can't hurt right and now I take a daily dose, helps with diabetes, high blood pressure weight loss. Apple Cider Vinegar the 5$ miracle

Replied by Sharon
Oh
03/19/2017
5 out of 5 stars

You are so right!! $5.00 miracle! My Jack Russell developed bladder stones and the vet immediately wanted to do surgery. I found info on sites like this and decided to try this first due to the fact that Chloe is getting old. Her last surgery scared me to death cuz I wasn't sure the old girl would make it! ((Vet pulled teeth, without consent while she was being fixed.

After 1 week on the ACV she is back to her old self. Who knew that a 5 dollar remedy would work so well compared to a 700 dollar surgery. Vet has called twice trying to schedule her a surgery. They don't even ask how she's doing, just are you ready to have the procedure done!! All about the $$$.

Replied by Alejandra
Miami
04/16/2017

Can I use ACV long term?

Replied by Irina
Staten Island< Ny
05/01/2017

I am also need to do Neutering procedure for an 11y dog weimarunner GREY bleeding from urine for a month. It is always unknown when you use anesthesia for older pet.

Replied by Denise W.
Akron, Ihio
05/30/2017

My six-year-old white German Shepherd has struvite crystals in her urine and I'd like to know what is the doseagevof apple cider vinegar I would give her, she is about 82 lbs. Also, because it doesn't taste very good, can I put it in peanut butter or honey to disguise it?

Replied by Dee Dee
Greenville
06/22/2017

Is there capsules or the liquid APC?

Replied by Josh
Lakeside, Ca
07/05/2017

Did you have any idea how big the stones were before you started the ACV? My dog she's 7 yrs old, Dachshund Pit bull mix has 5 bladder stones ranging in size with the biggest being around 36MM (1.5 inch) I'm gonna try the ACV trick first to avoid the 800 at minimum dollar surgery. Vet said surgery is a must due to the sizes but if the ACV breaks them down I'm hoping for enough to pass and hope they pass with ease and not end up requiring emergency surgery as it could then turn into thousands of dollars....

Thanks Josh

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
07/05/2017

Josh,

You might also consider 'stone breaker' remedy Chanca Piedra. Please keep in mind that remedies take time to work - not overnight, but likely weeks. A blocked bladder can result in death. If you choose to avoid the surgery please monitor your dog carefully to be sure she can void her bladder, and watch for painful bladder infections and blood in her urine. A scheduled surgery is far less expensive than an emergency room procedure. Please keep us posted!

Replied by Debbie
Pennsylvania
09/07/2017

How much Apple Cider Vinegar for bladder stones in a 14# schnoodle? Thank you.

Replied by Sofi
Nj
09/14/2017

I just have a question my yorkie is 7 years old and she went to the Vet on Monday they did an xray and showed she has 3 large stones in her bladder. They recommend operating which is very expensive $1500-$3500, they gave me a Prescription for the Hills Diet Urinary Care which she doesn't want to eat. Will ACV help her in breaking the stones down? she is peeing but strains from anal and her rectal comes out?

Replied by Pam
Camarillo, Ca
09/16/2017

My 6 year old female Pomeranian was diagnosed with Bladder Stones last week. They said she would have to have a operation that will cost $2,200.00 and have to eat special food for the rest of her life. I can't afford the operation, I could barely afford the 500.00 vet bill for her bladder infection. I'm glad I came across this post.I will try the ACV Tonight. Thank You.

Replied by Angelique
Fl
09/17/2017

Hi my dog has 11 galbladder stones. How much Apple Cider Vinergar did you give her?

Like how many drops of ACV on how much water, and how many times per day?

How would you know if all of them are gone? My dog also got high levels in her liver. They gave her 21 days of antibiotics and perscription diet Royal Canin SO.

Thanks so much :)

Angelique

Replied by Cheryl
Tn
09/26/2017

My Husky has bladder stones...I would like to start holistic treatment for them with ACV...I am starting to mix 1/4th teaspoon mixed in her food...Can any of you tell me the correct dose? anthing is worth a try....Thank you so much ...I do not want her to have an expensive operation she is 8 years old and is 45 pounds...

EC: You will find dosing information here.


Posted by Linda (Woonsocket, Ri) on 03/06/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Thank God and all of you for this site!

I recently adopted an 8 year old gorgeous female I called Lily. The shelter said their vet cured her of struvite crystals and she'd have to be on expensive prescription food forever. I said ok yet when I got her home she stared at the litter box like she'd never seen one b/4 then she'd lie in it but didn't do much else, sometimes going 24 hrs w/o voiding. Hmmm she wasn't 'cured' that's for sure...

To cut a long story 'shorter' I found you guys and tried 1/4 tsp of ACV & 3 tbsp of distilled water and mixed it carefully in wet food which miss super-finicky gobled up and by her 2nd portion, today, she voided the largest clump of urine I've seen since she came home with me 3 weeks ago. She's happier than I've ever seen her and she's acting like a 2 yr old. Running, playing, jumping etc. I can't believe it, all in ONE DAY! I'm in tears writing this. I'm so thankful to all of you for all your excellent information...

Love, Lily and me P.S. My vet also said she was 'fine' then charged a fortune for the visit & the food!

Replied by Stephanie
Waterbury Ct
03/12/2016

How does this work? My dog has been having blood in his urine. UTI test came back negative. Vet would like to do X-RAYS and possibly surgery if needed. How does the ACV work? Do you put it in the food or water? And for how long do you do this? What is it that makes this work? Thx :)

Replied by Sierra
Uncasville, Ct
04/21/2016

Can I just clarify that with the ACV treatment the dog does not have to change their food to the expensive Rx. dog food? If there is a store brand of food that helps keep the stones at bay I'm all for it. But 6lb bags at $25/ bag is not what I call living life. My dog also has a food sensitivity, so she has to eat lamb not chicken or beef.

Can anyone give a dosage of the ACV I heard in water and in yogurt and in regular food?

Replied by Rose
New Jersey
06/21/2016

My 3 year old dog has not been peeing right for some time. I have tried her with the Apple Cider Vinegar and sea salt im her water and in her dry food . I also give it to her in her water but she still isn't drinking it. What should I do? Need help.

Replied by Suseeq
Sydney, Australia
06/21/2016

Start of with a small amount. When she's drinking that gradually increase.

Replied by Pabusmom
St. Louis, Mo
08/18/2016

Please help me help Pabu! My dog, Pabu, was diagnosed with bladder stones in 2013. His vet suggested he be put on Royal Canine or Hill's Rx dog food for the rest of his life, which is all I have purchased since his diagnosis. In February 2016 Pabu had surgery to remove the bladder stones. The vet opened him, attempted to remove the stones but couldn't get them. Then, he closed him back up to take another X-ray, re-opened my baby and made another attempt to retrieve the stones to no avail. $2,000 later my Pabu still has bladder stones. The recover was so horrible that I didn't think Pabu would survive. The vet claims that he couldn't remove the stones because they had moved into his urethra. His vet went on to tell me that it is essential that the stones be removed immediately by a specialist. So basically another surgery. He also stated that if the specialist could not remove the stones Pabu's male genitalia would have to be amputated and converted to the female genitalia, which sounds absolutely absurd to me! I never returned to that vet; however, I am locked in a healthcare plan with Banfield for the rest of the year with no recourse. The new Banfield vet is also stating he needs surgery to have the stones removed and said that he now has particles of the stones in his urethra. They are telling me that male dogs cannot pass via the male genitalia.

I am afraid that if I try the apple cider vinegar it may break up the stones and they may get trapped in his urethra, but I seriously oppose another surgery. Please, please give me some advise to save my doggie. He's an 8-year old Lhasa Apso and is so amazingly sweet.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
08/19/2016

Hello Pabu's Mom,

Some have reported good results using the herb Chanca Piedra, also known as Phyllanthus niruri. You can find 'stonebreaker' herbal combinations for sale online or from vendors. Google and read up and see if this is indicated for Pabu.

Replied by Ann
Vancouver
09/20/2016

Mix a spoon of wet food with lots of water and add dry food as well. My dog drinks lots of water this way.

Replied by Natalie
Hong Kong
09/23/2016

My dog is a 14-year-old chihuahua and has just found out she has gallstones. She too old to undergo such a big operation. Is this remedy appropriate for her? She's only 1.1kg, she has lost a lot of weight in the last 2 months and her urine is yellow and the whites of her eyes are a little yellow as well. She's currently in hospital and we don't think it's a good idea for surgery as she might not be able to wake up? Is this remedy suitable for her? Please, this is urgent

Replied by Jana
Bali
09/27/2016

My dog has ben suffering with peeing issues.he's allmost ten so I thaught it was prostate issues, so I had him fixed but it seems the problem is even worse now??? I dont know if its stones but I'm sure willing to use ACV and see if it might help.. (it helps me:) thank you for such helpfull info.

Replied by Rececca
Mumbai
10/10/2016

My dog has bladder stones.. from last 3 years he is been facing this issue.. Vet has recommended for surgery but I m little scared of it.. That's why I was searching for home remedies.. when I saw about this remedy.. I tried this with my dog by giving him one tablespoon in drinking water bowl for two days.. but he started vomiting for next two days. What to do now because I don't want him to go for surgery. I need help ASAP!

EC: Hi Rebecca, are you giving your dog organic apple cider vinegar? What brand of apple cider vinegar are you using?

Replied by Kim
Great Falls
12/14/2016

I have a 10yr old Shih Tzu that last yr I noticed sm little stones on the hair around her genital area. The vet said it was stones and she did have a UTI, she put her on antib.and Royal Cann OS to help. That was a yr ago and she has been on the same food since. We have seen small stones that she has passed still and now her ph 8. The vet did a ultra sound and also felt a small stone in her bladder that she doesn't think she will be able to pass and wants to do surg. The stones she passed was sent to lab and came back as a triple C. I really don't want to do surg. and want to get her off this food and try a natural diet and try to get this stone to break up. Would using ACV help her? I know she also has S. crystals in the urine. Her ph is now down to 6.5. If I give her the ACV will that make things worse or is there a chance it would help break up that stone in the bladder so it will come out without surg? I need help and fast as surg is to be in 2wks. I would like any suggestions to help. Please...

Replied by Pamela
Wantagh, Ny
01/22/2017

Struvite and Calcium oxalate crystals- 2yr old, 60lb male english bulldog

I am EXTREMELY thankful to this website. My husband and I took in a 2 year old, 60lb male English Bulldog-the family had another bulldog and they were getting into many fights. Long story short I noticed he would urinate frequently and when taking him to the Vet, he was diagnosed with Struvite and Calcium oxalate crystals. I assume the previous owners never realized he had a UTI and he eventually developed the crystals.

I am terribly concerned because this is my first time- as a pet owner- dealing with a canine that has crystals, and like other parents to a fur child, I want him to live a comfortable life.

The Vet prescribed Hills dry CD food and as I have been doing my research I have found terrible reviews about this food. Jackson- my fur child- has been on CD for less than a month now, and his stool is very soft and he is excessively shedding and no longer has a shiny coat.

What dog food would be good to switch him to that provide healthy ingredients and that is also low-protein? Is the low protein diet meant to be given for less than six months? As of today I will be incorporating the ACV into his water and food. Is 1/2 a tsp sufficient?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. THANK YOU!

Pamela


Replied by Elizabeth
Corning, New York
12/12/2016

How much Apple Cider Vinegar should I put in his water? He's about 68 lbs and the vet said he may bladder stoned. It would cost over 400 for all the tests and I cannot afford it. I put 2 tbls in his water dish tonite and I'm hoping for good news. Thank you

Posted by Pauline (Citrus Heights, CA) on 02/01/2007
5 out of 5 stars

I have had nothing but trouble with this little dog I rescued 2 years ago. Prior owner, did not want her anymore, as she kept having UTI's and peeing. I knew this when I got her. After many doc appointments, and a spay. Finally one doctor told me, that she would need surgery, as she had bladder stones. I opt out of surgery, and went on line to find out, what if anything I could do to help this little dog. Since Oct of 2006, I have not only changed the way I feed Dottie, BUT, have incorporated ACV into her food. I HAVE HAD NO ILLNESS, NOR has she had any more UTI's or stones. I cannot thank Earthclinc enough. NOW..when I get phone calls from my friends regarding issues with their dogs, I refer them to this site. and tell them about my beautiful Dottie. Dottie is now 3ish and is a Peke. ACV was such a simple solution. Why vets don't use a more holistic approach to a health dog is beyond me!

Replied by Pam
San Antonio
11/18/2015

My little dog is suffering from bladder stones. She had to have surgery to have them removed in August. The last couple of days she seems to be having issues with urinating again. My vet has recommended she eat the prescription dog food. My question is …… how much ACV should she take daily? Thanks!

Replied by Karina
New York
11/29/2015

Thank you for your post, I am having the same problem with my dog. I am going to try ACV.

Can you tell me for how long I have to give my dog ACV? Is there any side effect? Thank you!!!

Replied by Deborah
Sacramento, Ca
02/20/2016

Wow, Apple cider vinegar!!! ?? That's amazing. I have been giving my daushund baking soda for her reoccuring bladder stone, have you heard of that?

Replied by Teri
Ca
02/26/2016

I have a female German Shepherd that is peeing blood. Dr. put her on antibiotics which doesn't seem to be working. I was wondering about trying Apple Cider Vinegar but not sure how much and how to give to her. Can anyone help? Thank you.

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
02/27/2016

Teri (Ca)

Please do stop the antibiotics and give kefir or a good probiotic right away to offset the damage.

For internal bleeding give a tsp. turmeric powder in the probiotics till the bleeding stops. This will work very well.

Antibiotics are dangerous as they are the precurser of candida and cancer. also the immune system will be depressed at a time when it is most needed.

Research EC on Essiac four herb all roots attached which in my opinion is the best course of action. I got my Essiac from EssiacWest online. Read the instructions well and start with a much lower dosage, working up to the desired dosage.

All the best. Namaste Om

Replied by Geoff
Lancaster, Sc
08/10/2016

How much do you give? Is it so much per body weight?


Posted by Carole (NJ) on 05/06/2006
5 out of 5 stars

I have an 11 lb. Chihuahua. His urine was always at a pH of 8 with crystals forming. I put him on a urinary acidifier tablet for a couple of years and it did not do anything. I tried 1/2 teaspoon of ACV once a day and in only one week his urine pH went down to 5!!! Even the doctor was amazed when I told her what I did.


Posted by Rachel (St. Louis, MO)
5 out of 5 stars

My parent's dog had horrible kidney stones and a urinary tract infection. He could not hold his urine sometimes and other times he could not release it. He was in a lot of pain. The vet reccomended surgery. My mom was reluctant because she believes in natural cures and the fact that there is a 40% chance of it repeating in a year. She put him on a special diet and it didn't work. After two days of putting him on the Apple Cider Vinegar, he appears to be cured! They put a little in his drinking water and a few drops in his food. It worked like a wonder drug! He is happy and energetic again and is no longer having accidents or in pain. He is back to his old self. Highly Recomended!

Cranberry  

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Posted by Joanna (Ottawa, Ontario) on 11/27/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I know that cranberry juice is belived to be most effective as form of UTI prevention. However; I would like to know if pets taking cranberry juice are more prone to develop crystal and stones such us oxalate stones? My cocker spaniel takes cranberry juice daily 1 cap. a day, she has not been sick since last year. The last time she had UTI the vet said that she has high level of crystals, could she get them form cranberry juice?

Replied by Linda
Rancho Dominguez, Ca
04/14/2013

Does your dog's food contain Ash? What is your dog's pH value? When ash and similar are not completely flushed from your dog's system, it can form crystals/stones. A dog's pH value should be slightly acidic at around 6.8 or so. Whatever your dog eats or drinks (even water) can affect pH value. If too alkaline (above 7. 0), it can help cause crystals. Check it out.


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Posted by Kk (Houston, Tx) on 07/23/2012
5 out of 5 stars

My 13 year old terrier mix had bladder surgery four years ago to remove a massive bladder stone. She had suffered with bladder infections for years and ended up with blood in her urine and needed 2,000 dollar surgery! A very large stone was removed. After the surgery to avoid *another* expensive, painful surgery I started sprinkling cranberry powder or D-mannose with Cranactin powder on her food. Just a quarter to a half a powdered capsule. It worked GREAT! The urinary tract infections stopped and the crystals stopped appearing in her urine. Her vet said to keep doing what I was doing because it worked! I also give her bottled water now.


Dietary Changes  

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Posted by Sophiesmom (Economy, Pennsylvania) on 08/02/2015
0 out of 5 stars

My 2-1-2 year old female lab had bladder stone surgery on July 16. She had been on Earthborn Holistic grain free bison food for 2 years with no problems. I would give her a little plain yogurt and a drizzle of molasses too. Now the vet put her on Royal Canin which she promptly threw up in chunks every night at 3am. I read the ingredients, chicken byproducts and corn. Yuck! So my vet told me to put her back on the Earthborn and gradually introduce her to Hills prescription for struvite and oxalate stones. She has had it three days now and threw up last night at 3am but primarily just phlegm. She is starving on this low protein crappy food! The vet hasn't gotten the stone results back yet. Her PH urine is 6.5. The grass is killed everywhere she urinates too. I wish I could just give her a good quality, grain free, holistic food like chicken food and try adding some potassium citrate or ACV in it. I was told the stones could come back.

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
08/02/2015

Hello, Sophie'smom (Economy, Pennsylvania) ---

I can well understand your frustration about your poor dog's condition.

For one thing, all Vets seem to sell Hill's garbage in expensive plastic bags. In years of caring for many pets, I have learned my lesson. You must do your own. Vets have no education in nutrition.

I feed a grain free fish or chicken top quality kibble which I soak in left over steaming liquid from veggies so that the food is not hard to digest. I process a mixture of veggies and add a scant tsp. turmeric and some slices of fresh ginger, all to be pureed. I mix the kibbles with this and top the dish with hemp seed oil or coconut oil. Plus a tbsp. ACV which disappears in the mix. Some veggies have to be steamed though. I also provide b-vitamins in Nutritional Yeast from the health food store.

I have long stopped to see vets as I do not want a mortgage on my house and a sick animal. For instance, my Newfie mix rescue has a bad long time skin condition mostly painfully on his beautiful tail. A by passing vet said the tail should be amputated. Do I need to say more? An open admission that they know very little.

Be your own vet and, yes, kefir or unsweetened yoghourt are very good. If you look up EC's remedy and ailment sections, you may find many good hints to try out. Even the ones for people as well as the pet section. Wish you both well.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
08/02/2015

to Sophie'smom --- I forgot to mention to get organic parsley and make a soup with it to throw over the vegetables. Also, if you have access to unsprayed dandilyon, the entire plant - and dogs and cats love the tea in their kibbles. This is true super nutrition. Namaste, Om

Replied by Timh
Ky
08/03/2015

S: The severity and chronic nature of this UTI infection suggest more than kidneys affected. I know from experience that if the Liver or Colon are not in good shape, the kidneys will take the brunt and never get better despite treatments.

To clean your Canine's Colon, give only a pinch (maybe 1/4 spoon for Lab weighing 50lb+) in food once or twice a wk for a couple wks. This will proly stop the vomit problem.

What about water source? Tap water needs filtering. Add a few drops of Hydrogen Peroxide 3% to the drinking bowl to kill internal infections.

One more effective remedy I use on my pets, as for nutrition, which you seem to be struggling with. Add a few granules of Bee Pollen to the food daily. Bee Pollen contains all the nutrition not found in commercial foods and more, much more.

Replied by Dharmony
Ny
08/03/2015

Here is a link to a really good paper from Whole Dog Journal on stones. Diet change is not always necessary. You are right not to want to give crappy food. Once you find out which kind of stones she had you could look it up here. Good luck. Canine Kidney Stone and Bladder Stone Prevention

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
08/03/2015

Hey Sophie's Mom!

I agree with you - the non-grain meat diet with all the protein is the way to go - JMHO.

Low protien diets in conjunction with antibiots help stones to dissolve but a low protien diet has not shown to prevent their formation.

Source: http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/13_4/features/Detecting-Urinary-Stones-Dogs_16215-1.html

What can help is distilled water and wet food - or soaked kibble, and incentives to increase water intake such as bowls of flavored broths next to the water bowl.

Your girl's PH is in the good zone, but having ph test strips on hand can help alert you to problems as the ph changes when there is an infection which then allows the stones to grow larger.

The stones may well recur - some dogs are simply prone to this condition. Staying on top of things by checking the PH will help you keep your girl comfortable and as symptom free as possible.

Posted by Tori (Huntington Beach, CA) on 03/29/2015

My vet basically told me that my dog had to stay on Hill's Prescription (UTI) food or Royal Canin for the rest of her life. Both of these brands (the only dry dog food for UTI) are cost prohibitive at $60-$85 a BAG for 30lbs....$120 or more per month for DRY dog food! Hill's food is considered inferior and Royal Canin is only a little bit better. There was at least one study that I read out of UC Davis that indicated that the reduced amounts of protein in these foods is not good for dogs on a permanent basis. The purpose of the food is to help break up stones, not to stop bladder infections. The infection is a separate issue....is that correct? The crystals only become a problem when there is a bladder infection?

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
03/30/2015

Hey Toni!

I agree with your vet; your dog needs a special diet for life. Now, there is no saying it must be Prescription Hills or Royal Canin - but it does need to be designed to help dissolve and prevent crystals; consider daily supplementation with D manose powder to help prevent UTIs.

The Prescription Hills and other prescription diets that are so expensive actually do a good job at what they are formulated to do: while the OTC Hills diets are essentially crap, the prescription lines do a good job of keeping a pet with certain disorders alive. NO diet is fool proof - I have a friend with a pug with stones who has been feeding prescription Hills since day one who is now on the canned diet to dissolve stones: the reality is, if your pet is genetically predisposed to a disease condition there is no magic diet. All you can do is monitor your pet carefully, try to prevent the formation of stones or crystals and monitor your pet carefully to provide vet care or surgery if it comes to that point.

You mention crystals - did you get a diagnosis of struvite crystals for your dog? Adding ACV to your dog's diet may help to dissolve and prevent the formation of these crystals.


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Posted by Arlene (Brick, New Jersey) on 01/18/2010
5 out of 5 stars

I have a 9 year old Bischon. When she was 3, she had a degenerative disc and the surgery resulted in her having involuntary evacuation of both urine and poop. She has also had recurring blood in her urine. At my Vet's suggestion, I have been giving her 250 mg of Ester C. No blood in some time. actually, the Vet recommended Vit. C but I learned through research that Vit. C causes Acid which is what causes the crystals in her urine so the Ester C works miracles. She loves it in a tiny bit of peanut butter.

Replied by Jan
Sugar Land Tx
11/04/2015

Would you tell me what brand of Ester C did you purchase? My Duke takes Gabapentin 100 MG twice daily; I will have to search the Internet to try and find outhe if there would be drug interactions. Any idea if maybe the ACT would be okay to give him?


General Feedback  

Posted by Jennifer (Dallas, Tx, Usa) on 12/30/2011

I haven't noticed anyone mention vitamin C. It's normally not good for dogs because they produce their own, but with a UTI, it's a natural anti-inflammatory and it helps create the acidic environment in the bladder to ward off the bacteria. My baby was crying with her first one, and the Vitamin C helped within 20 minutes. Now, I use ACV when she gets one but if she has pain and cries, I give the vit. C.

Also I noticed some people talking about drinking a lot - I don't think that is a sign of UTI. That is usually more serious like diabetes or kidney probs. and need to go to the vet.

Ideally, we'd go to the vet everytime regardless of what it looks like. If we're wrong and it's crystals or stones the dog could die.

Even if we choose to treat with ACV instead of drugs, a vet confirmation is ideal.

We can't all always do that, but please at least look online and make sure to the best of your ability that you are treating the right thing.


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Posted by Louhandy (Los Angeles, Ca) on 01/21/2014

i have an elderly 32 lb mutt that's been experiencing repeated uti's because of urinary crystals...her vet recommended a medicated kibble to reduce the ph of her urine, but the cost was prohibitive...I've read up on Apple Cider Vinegar + yogurt + cranberries + sea salt and feel that's the way to go...please let me know what dosage combination of the above I should give her daily to make sure she stays her healthiest doggie best... thanks, Lou

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
01/22/2014

Hey Louhandy!

This is Ted's advice on dosing sea salt:

Use a quality sea salt - the aquarium stores tend to sell the best.

A crisis dose is 1 teaspoon of sea salt into a litre of pure, non-chlorinated water, for 1-2 days [play it by ear; you *should* see a rather immediate resolution to the symptoms in that time frame, but if not go for 3 days and consider adding cranberry juice to the water if you are not already dosing the cranberry in conjunction with this therapy]

A maintenance dose after the crisis resolves is 1/4 teaspoon sea salt into 1 liter of water

Ted also adds: "As to the apple cider vinegar for UTI, I do not think it to be as effective as a sea salt remedy. However if ACV is used then it is likely to be mixed with a pinch of baking soda."

As for the powdered cranberry dosage, some contributors have used 2 capsules [Cranactin brand] diluted in 1 oz water for a cat, while others have used 1 capsule for a 65 pound dog. This is something you will have to compare brands and potencies and work out for your dog, but it makes sense to me to start out with 2 capsules with food am and pm during a crisis and then scale back to 1 capsule am and pm for maintenance.

As for the yogurt and ACV - many mix the two together and feed with the am and pm meals. 1 to 1-1/2 tablespoons of raw, unpasturized, unfiltered, "with the mother" ACV into wet food or yogurt. If you are looking for probiotics from the yogurt, it may be easier to simply buy the probiotics in powder form and add to the diet, as some dogs don't do well with dairy.

The ACV can be used as a maintenance dose with the food; if you dose a probiotic as well its a good idea to switch brands every couple of weeks to rotate the species of probiotic for proper balance in the gut.

Now, balancing out your dog's PH is critical in addressing crytals in the urine [aka Crystalluria] but crystalluria represents a risk factor for kidney stones so you should continue to work with your vet to monitor if the crystals resolve or continue to be present, and to be on the lookout for potential complications of urinary obstruction or kidney stones.

Read all about it here:

http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/urinary/c_multi_crystalluria


Posted by Denise (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) on 04/06/2008
5 out of 5 stars

I had my Pyr/Collie F/S 85 lb. 2.4 yr old girl urinalyis done and the PH was 9.0, MAP crystals, no staph, no blood etc, RBC and WBC were fine, so NO antibiotics and 5 more (a total of 9) days before an xray to check for stones. She was given to me with many crystals and a severe leaking/blasdder infection at 6 weeks of age. She had a too short (I think) course of antibiotics and after I discontinued all treats her test was clear, crystal free and great PH. They did comprehensive blood work to rule out hereditary and genetic issues. I'd not given it much thought until she wet herself sleeping and started going more again. Now, today I gave her 1 TSP ACV diluted with 1 TSP water in an oral syringe with the intenet to give another equal dose this evening. She's had sweetened activia yogurt 2X daily for 2 days, cranberry juice 2x 1/2 cup daily, then switched to cranberry tablets 1 pill (9000 mg from 500 mg 18:1 ratio) a day for 2 days. I don't know if the pills are of use, please advise! I think the juice would be better?? I also added SEA SALT to her water, she took a nice, long drink. At anyrate, I took her PH this morning before the ACV and sea salt and it was 8.5. I took it again at 6 pm and it's 6.5. My understanding was if there's an infection, there's going to be crystals and high PH, but I'm thinking she has an issue with diet and needs sea salt as well. I'm so glad I found this site!! In still want to consult with her vet, maybe another one as I'm having trouble getting the vets to understand that I 'get' what's going on. I also think a CULTURE test should have or still should be performed as a urinalysis may not show some infections. ~SIGHS~ It's not a money issue, though I am always broke! I don't want her being so heavily sedated for xrays when I really dis-beleive there are stones that if there are, will dissolve anyways! I also have her on a no corn diet that I may have to reconsider as it's an acid adding veggie. Just thought I'd let folks know that ACV and or the sea salts WORK!! I'll post back and see how everyone's doing as well as keep you updated on her! Thanks AGAIN so much!!